IMC 2008: Sessions

Session 1513: Landscape with and without Humans

Thursday 10 July 2008, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Benjamin Štular, Institute of Archaeology, Slovenian Academy of Sciences & Arts, Ljubljana
Paper 1513-aRepresentation of Landscape and Vegetation in Late Medieval Religious Art
(Language: English)
Ülle Sillasoo, Estonian Institute of Humanities, Tallinn University
Index terms: Archaeology - General, Art History - Painting, Daily Life, Religious Life
Paper 1513-bManaging the Medieval Landscape: Woodland Clearance and Forest Utilization in 9th- to 15th-Century Iceland
(Language: English)
Árni Daníel Júlíusson, Reykjavík Academy
Index terms: Charters and Diplomatics, Economics - Rural, Geography and Settlement Studies, Social History
Paper 1513-cMedieval Man Meeting Nature: Man-Made Landscapes or Land-Made 'Manscapes'?
(Language: English)
Johnny Grandjean Jakobsen, Institut for Historie, Kultur og Samfundsbeskrivelse, Syddansk Universitet, Odense
Index terms: Computing in Medieval Studies, Demography, Economics - Rural, Geography and Settlement Studies

Paper -a:
Imaginary landscapes with realistically depicted flowering plants are frequently the context of scenes from the life of Christian martyrs in late medieval church art. Meadows that surround saints at their execution sites and roads are frequently plenty of flowering wild plants. They all are supposed to have a symbolic meaning, relevant to the narrative, but because of their great diversity and uniqueness, this meaning is not always clear and there are several patterns of representation. The origin of these patterns from the lives of the participants of these paintings is discussed, their knowledge and experiences with the natural world from the places that they lived in and the landscapes visited.
Paper -b:
Arguably one of the largest environmental engineering projects in the early Middle Ages was the clearance of Icelandic woodland following the discovery and settlement of Iceland by the Vikings in the late 9th century and early 10th century. Scandinavian settlers did this. The reasons for this have been little understood, but research into Scandinavian pre-history and Icelandic medieval charters has shown that the probable aim was to recreate the homeland cultural landscape. Not all woodland was cleared and the remaining woodland was carefully managed during the Middle Ages. The paper will present the research leading to this conclusion.
Paper -c:
(subtitle: A historical-geographical approach to analyse the outcome of the interface between human and nature in medieval Denmark)

Without going all the way back to the hardcore natural-determinism of old and long-left historical geography, I would like to bring in nature and especially physical geography once again as a rather influential factor in concern of the development of such things as human geography and economy in the Middle Ages. In my paper, I will present a series of quite different sources and interdisciplinary methods, which together with the possibilities of G.I.S.-technology can be used to explore the historical consequences of ‘man meeting nature’, combined with some examples of such analyses used on one or two East Danish regions.